Some teachers at a school in Windsor, Ontario, are facing a backlash after they duped students into thinking they were going on a class trip to Disney World in Florida. Apparently the joke didn’t go over too well with the students and some of their parents.
The prank began innocently enough: One of the teachers suspected that a student had been going through his desk, so he planted a fake brochure advertising a graduating-class trip to Orlando. The student apparently took the bait, since rumors about the trip began to circulate.
Somehow this led a few days later to the teachers—who arguably had a little too much time on their hands—giving a whole-class multimedia presentation on the wonders of Disney World, only to reveal in the very last slide the much-anticipated graduation celebration was actually being planned for a local bowling alley. They also filmed the students’ reactions and later showed the video to other classes.
“I didn’t know how to react at first, but then I felt really kind of depressed about it and upset,” one student told CBC News.
A psychologist interviewed by Canada’s national public broadcasting system characterized the teachers’ actions as “bullying.” “These are Grade 8 students moving into Grade 9,” she said. “They already have anxiety and are going through personal, physical, and cognitive changes.”
Many commenters on CBC News’ website were considerably less concerned. “I think it was pretty funny,” one wrote. “Stay out of the teacher’s desk.”
The local school board, which has received numerous complaints about the incident from parents and community members, is reportedly looking into whether disciplinary action for the teachers is warranted.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.